Ever since I was a child I’ve attached a bit of seasonal nostalgia to different food items.
I remember summer picnics with broccoli salad and stacking hay bales in the fall with candy corn and cider waiting in the house. Every time I taste those things now, those are the memories that replay in my mind. But in my book, there is always the potential for another seasonal food memory, and fall is one of the most fun times to experiment!
As the weather turns colder I find myself playing in the kitchen a little more, and one of my favorite sweet treats to make is fudge. I’ve been wanting to try a pumpkin fudge for a while, and I am pretty happy with how this recipe turned out! I like it as an after-dinner treat with a cup of decaf.
A Few Tips
First, a quick primer on fudge basics. As you see in the recipe below, to make fudge you usually need to cook the sugar mixture to the softball stage before adding your final thickening ingredient. This means that when you drizzle a little bit of the sugar mixture into cold water, you can form the mixture into a softball shape. You can read more specifics here, including the appropriate temperature if you want to use a candy thermometer.
I’ve been making a variety of fudge recipes for years, and sometimes I think I have followed the recipe perfectly and something still seems to go wrong. If you overcook the fudge, it will be crumbly and dry, and there is not much you can do about that except try again. But if your fudge is undercooked it will be too liquid as it cools – in that case, I have found that it can usually still be saved by adding more of whatever thickening ingredient you are using! In this recipe, it’s white chocolate chips, but if it was very liquidy, I would add something a little stickier, like marshmallow creme, to thicken it up. You want it to form “ribbons” when you drizzle the mixture in the pan – then you know it’s ready to pour.
Pumpkin Pecan Fudge
3 cups of sugar
1/2 cup milk
3 tablespoons pumpkin puree
1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) margarine or butter
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 bag white chocolate chips
1 cup pecans
1. Grease a 8×8 inch baking dish or plate. Set aside.
2. Mix sugar, milk, pumpkin, butter, and spices in a saucepan.
3. Heat mixture over medium-high heat, stirring regularly. Bring to a rolling boil. Let the mixture boil for 2-3 minutes, until it reaches the softball stage.
4. Remove from heat and stir. Add in white chocolate chips, and stir until chips are melted and the mixture is thickened. Add pecans.
5. Pour into a prepared baking dish and allow fudge to cool. If desired, arrange some pecans on top of the fudge before it cools.